A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has 8.7 million reasons why it’s safe and smart to vaccinate kids ages 5 to 11 against COVID-19.
Building on extensive trials that found no serious vaccination-related events, this study found serious adverse events extremely rare among children ages 5 to 11 who have received the Pfizer vaccine since early November.
How rare? Out of 8.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered to ages 5-11 through Dec. 19, there were just 100 reports of serious events to the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
Importantly, none of the data suggested any link between vaccination and death. Of the two reports that involved deaths, both involved children who had “complicated medical histories” and were in fragile health before vaccination.
Eleven of these extremely rare events were verified as myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle that is far more common and serious with COVID-19 itself. None of these involved deaths within the study period.
Because VAERS is such a common subject for vaccine misinformation, I encourage you to read this study to better understand how researchers use VAERS reports, which can be made by anyone, to identify adverse events and trends. VAERS is important, but reports can be incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. VAERS data alone does not show that vaccination caused a reported adverse event.
Of approximately 645,000 Arizona kids ages 5 to 11, more than 133,000 have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. That’s in the line with the rest of the nation, but it’s far from where we should be. Taking advantage of safe, free, and highly effective COVID-19 vaccines helps young kids continue in-person learning without interruption while protecting them from severe illness – and from passing COVID-19 to more vulnerable people.
Meanwhile, another CDC report – this one based on Arizona data – finds the Pfizer vaccine to be highly effective (92%) at preventing COVID-19 in those ages 12-17. I hope parents will give that one a look as well.
If you have children ages 5 to 17 who have yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19, please find a provider at azhealth.gov/FindVaccine and protect them as soon as possible.